Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Pretty low in the Dad rankings...

There are some days when you really appreciate your own parents.

Today was one of them.

All three of the kids went to bed near midnight last night and they were, well, exhausted this morning and in the afternoon.

I implemented a Draconian evening program and made them all get in bed by 7.45.

The resistance was strong-willed and determined. I was called names. I was villified. It was less than pleasant.

I took comfort in my newfound paternal strategy of "I'm not here to make you happy" which I borrowed from Louis CK (here's the video)

Still, it's not easy being told that you're "mean," "not fair," and more. My dad ranking were lower than Obama's.

But, hey, it's a part of the ride, I suppose.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Den of Thieves, Unbroken, and Reflections on Human Nature

Plowed through 2 solid books this winter break.

The first was Den of Thieves about Milken, Boesky, and the "greed is good" era of insider trading in the 80s on Wall St. A strong narrative, well written that reinforces the dark view that when there are rules and there is money to be made, there will be smart people who either find a way around the rules or don't care about them and take on the risk.

Almost a treatise on a part of human nature.

Balancing that was Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption which is an incredible and inspiring story that defies imagination. Even though I had lived in Japan, I wasn't aware of the extent of Japanese atrocities against allied POWs. Shame on me (well, bigger shame on them).

How Louie Zamperini was able to survive the war, a plane wreck, a POW camp and more... at the level of abuse that he did...well, it puts all other problems in perspective and helps you realize how strong the will to live and survive is.

My brother told me that he walked out of the movie because it was so slow to develop (I can't comment on that personally). The book was powered by the force of the story. I found the prose to be rather straightforward and written at a lower level. That could have been the author's intention because you don't need to work up a story that is beyond belief to begin with.

But I don't want to focus on the shortcomings. The life of Louie Zamperini is one of an epic for all time and deserves to be studied and lauded.

So there you have it... winter investigation into the soul of Man.